Would you accept ads on the Beeb?

IT’S time the BBC started to accept advertising.

Faced with cutting costs – like everyone else in the present economic climate – a few ads would bring in much needed revenue for the Beeb.

In fact, it could be very profitable indeed – imagine how much the corporation could charge for a few highly-desirable prestige ad slots linked to some of its most popular programmes.

No BBC shows last an hour and the final few minutes are always filled up with needless ads (made at great expense) to promote upcoming programmes or other channels.

These should be replaced with a minute of ads at the top of the hour so the programmes would not be interrupted or the quality harmed.

Sponsorship of key shows, as many of the commercial channels do, should also be targeted.

I certainly do not want to see my TV licence fee rise any further – which is the inevitable conclusion if the service continues to see costs rise and does little to drastically reduce them.

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The BBC has now had to agree to share Formula One with Sky in future – meaning it will only show half the grand prix races live with packages of highlights – because it could not afford to buy the rights outright.

F1 fans are rightly outraged.

Too many of our major sporting events and now only available on pay-to-view.

The quality of the BBC output is getting poorer, with plentiful repeats and baffling timetabling of some series – with money going instead on ridiculous, unnecessary channels such as BBC3 and BBC4, and more pointless radio stations (Radio 4 Extra? Who needs that?)

Scrolling through the TV guide, it is often hard to find anything worth watching – I am convinced the quality is still there, it’s just more thinly spread among 70-odd channels, instead of the four or five we used to see.

Our �145.50 TV licence – which only pays for the BBC – will soon buy very little worth watching.

That’s not to say that the BBC isn’t any good – its news coverage is first rate, sports coverage superb and documentaries top class.

But so much is now being lost to commercial or satellite channels that the breadth of watchable, quality programmes has been diluted too far.

It needs proper financing, to focus on what it does best and has done exceedingly well for so many years, to ditch the pointless add-on channels – and a few ads might give it the cash to do that without taking any more money from the hard-pressed tax payers.